29 MAY 2013

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Following up 2010's 'La Liberacio, next month CSS are due to release their fourth album, 'Planta', through SQE Music. Recorded in LA, the album was produced by TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek, while first single 'Hangover' features a guest appearance from Rancid's Tim Armstrong. Ahead of the album's 10 Jun release date, we asked Lovefoxxx to put together a playlist for us more>>
Recorded by Susanna Wallumrød, Siri Nilsen and Susanne Sundfør for Norwegian radio station NRK P3 at last year's Øya Festival, the song is driven by a single, simple keyboard line. The three women then take it in turns to lament about the unavoidable march of death, before harmonising beautifully about it on the chorus more>>

- Record industry hits out after Arts Council chief says new fund is required to counter market failure
- Hunger striking Pussy Riot member taken to hospital
- Piracy amongst British web users up, according to OfCom report
- Damon Albarn completes solo album
- Reznor confirms new NIN album in the pipeline
- David Byrne & St Vincent give away free EP
- Polysics announce UK release of new album
- The Japanese Popstars sign to Bedrock, announce new album
- Bat For Lashes announces London show
- London Grammar announce headline tour dates
- Ellie Goulding announces October tour
- Hilco to appoint new HMV marketing chief this week
- HMV PR chief moves to BPI
- New CEO appointed at Agency Group
- Ninja Tune opens new US office
- Lateral MGMT to open US office
- Eircom to close its music service
- BBC recommissions The Voice
- Olly Murs wants to act
Snapper Music plc, the independent record group seeks a full-time (or possibly part-time) Royalty & Copyright Assistant at its head office in Camden Town. Snapper is a well-established company including the frontline labels, Peaceville (metal) and Kscope (prog), alongside a portfolio of catalogue imprints which operate across a wide range of musical genres.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The Product Manager is a key member of the marketing team at Defected, the world’s leading house music label. Responsible for managing and developing artist and third party label projects, you will have an established and knowledgeable music background with comprehensive campaign management skills and extensive experience of the release process.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The Promotions Manager role sits within the marketing team at Defected, the world’s leading House music label. Responsible for managing Defected and partner labels’ international club and radio promotions, you will come from an experienced, music promotions background and have an extensive network of contacts.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for an intern with a keen interest in digital marketing to join our UK team. Experience in digital marketing would be a plus; being interested in music and wanting to learn more about the industry is a necessity.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Cherry Red Records are looking for an assistant to our digital manager in the creation of a marketing/project management department within the company. The successful candidate will work closely on our new frontline releases, but also assist in the general running of the digital department across our entire catalogue and various media platforms.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
London office for well-established rock/metal label is looking for a dynamic and experienced Promotions Manager to handle TV and Radio promotion for its rapidly diversifying roster. The ideal candidate should have at least two years experience in a similar role with existing contacts within the rock/metal media. Working in a fast-paced environment, organisation, communication and motivation are all key, as is a strong passion for rock/metal music.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We organise indoor and outdoor music & arts events and have two desks available for rent in our friendly and comfortable office. It's a great creative space located in Hoxton for anyone working in the creative industries (ie graphic designers, journalists, digital, marketing). Just five mins from Hoxton Station. The building is very secure and has 24 hour access. Rent is £250 a month plus VAT per desk which is inclusive of all bills and wi-fi.

For more information please contact

If the aim was to ensure everyone in the music industry was aware of the new Momentum Music Fund then remarks made by Arts Council England chief Alan Davey on Radio 4's 'Today' programme did the job yesterday, though if aim was to encourage everyone in the music business to embrace the new initiative - ACE's first ever new talent development fund aimed at pop and rock music - then maybe less so.

As previously reported, the Momentum Music Fund is a new funding initiative launched by Davey at The Great Escape earlier this month, and the first time the tax payer-funded arts organisation has had a new talent initiative in the pop and rock space, the State traditionally funding more projects and institutions operating in the classical, folk and jazz genres.

To be fair to the Arts Council chief, the starting point of yesterday's 'Today' piece was along the lines of "why the hell are you giving half a million of tax payer money to the pop industry that has all that One Direction and Adele cash to spend?" Faced with that line of questioning, Davey countered that the record label system - and especially the major label system - was failing new artists, and that ACE therefore had a duty to intervene.

Said Davey: "We have identified that currently in pop music there is a market failure at the beginning end of talent, and that is what we are trying to address here in the same way we address it with classical, jazz and folk. [The major labels of today] want talent to be delivered to them ready made, they are not prepared to take a risk over a long period of time. They concentrate on giving the public what they want, rather than exploring, and getting the public to find things they didn't know they wanted".

While Davey's response was really aimed at the naysayers amongst the 'Today' audience who would prefer it if State arts funding was reserved for opera and abstract drama no one much wants to see, his remarks were also heard by senior players in the record industry, who regularly talk up what a good job they do when it comes to investing their hard earned profits into brand new, unproven and risky talent.

Responding for them, BPI boss Geoff Taylor was quick to tell reporters: "Alan Davey's remarks about the lack of risk-taking in pop music are ill-informed and out of touch. UK labels have invested £1 billion over the last five years in new music. The results speak for themselves: five out of the top ten best-selling albums last year were from the UK. It is difficult to see that global breakthroughs such as Adele, Mumford & Sons, Emeli Sandé, Ed Sheeran, Muse and Jessie J represent short-termism, or a failure to back talent".

Noting that the BBC report was somewhat disparaging about the record industry's big telly talent show, Taylor continued: "Huge successes such as One Direction who emerged from the 'X-Factor' should be celebrated too. The new Arts Council fund represents a drop in the ocean - around a third of 1% - compared to annual investment by UK labels. New funding for investment in UK talent is always a good thing, but the Arts Council should be supporting the music industry's excellent record of breaking talent, not attacking it with ill-judged soundbites".

Ouch. Of course, it is true that the record companies, in the main, are taking fewer risks with new signings now than they did at the peak of record industry excess in the 1990s, simply because - with a third less revenue generated by recorded music today compared to then - there is less profit to invest in new bands. This means fewer new acts are signed overall, labels generally look for new signings to have a more established fanbase, and an awful lot rides on the first album.

It's also true that the big labels massage their talent investment figures a little by often including the ad spend for the new One Direction or Lady Gaga album in the "A&R budget" when declaring R&D figures.

But at the same time, it's wildly unfair to say the labels, and even the major labels, are only interested in the next One Direction - or even that they are only singing 'ready made' acts - a quick scan of the sorts of new artists majors are signing can confirm that.

And while the big labels may look for new artists to be slightly more developed than they once did - both in terms of creative output and fanbase - and that may well put more pressure on management, it also means that a good manager can subsequently negotiate a first record deal on much more favourable terms than fifteen years ago.

It's during that incubation period that the £5000-£15,000 grants the Momentum Music Fund is offering will really come into play. Not because that sort of money can actually launch a new act, but because it will help artists and their management teams get themselves 'label ready', both in building that initial fanbase, and also in identifying the kind of label deal - or similar - that will be most appropriate.

The new ACE funding initiative, therefore, may help labels reduce a little of their risk before pumping half a million of their money into just one band, but it should also help empower artists and managers so they can strike up business deals that will actually work for them.

The Momentum Music Fund, therefore, complements rather than replaces the record label system, in a way that is beneficial to both the record companies and artists. Though I suppose Davey was never going to be able to explain all that in the 78 seconds of breakfast time radio he was given.

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Pussy Riot's Maria Alekhina, who has been on hunger strike for over a week now in the Russian prison where she is currently being held, was admitted to hospital earlier this week, Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of one of her bandmates, has told The Associated Press.

As previously reported, Alekhina, one of two Pussy Riot members jailed last year for performing a protest song in a Moscow church, was refused parole last week.

She also recently spent five months in solitary confinement after accusing prison officials of attempting to turn other inmates against her, and of encouraging some of the more dangerous criminals in the prison to threaten her with violence.

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The number of British web users accessing pirated content rose slightly in the quarter up to 31 Jan, according to a copyright infringement report published by media regulator OfCom.

The report reckons that 18% of UK web-users streamed or downloaded unlicensed digital media content - which for OfCom's purposes includes music, film TV, ebooks, games and other software - at least once in the three months up to the end of January, with 386 million unlicensed files accessed overall.

That is up from 16% in the previous quarter, though OfCom notes that the number of web users accessing digital media content in general was also up in the same period. Of those web users who routinely access digital media content, about a third were accessing downloads or streams from unlicensed sources, the report adds, while about 5% relied more or less exclusively on illegal services.

Music is by far the most pirated kind of content, the OfCom document adds, estimating that it accounted for around 280 million of the 386 million files pirated.

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Damon Albarn has recently finished work on a solo album, he has told Rolling Stone. The record is produced by XL Recordings boss Richard Russell, with whom Albarn collaborated on Bobby Womack's 'The Bravest Man In The Universe' album.

Albarn says: "[Richard and I] really enjoy working together. He's done spectacularly well as a music mogul, but I think he wants to focus his energy on producing records. Making a solo record can be such a disaster, so I thought if we're going to make a record with my name on it, I should get someone to really produce it - take that responsibility away from myself. Richard does the kind of rhythmic side of it and I do everything else".

He added that a new Blur album was still a possibility, with the band considering recording one while touring various European festivals this summer: "We've got a couple of occasions when we're stuck in the middle of nowhere. So we might make the record in a week. If we can, it would be nice".

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Having been rather vague of late about whether or not new Nine Inch Nails material was in the pipeline, Trent Reznor appeared online overnight to confirm a new album was very much in the works, that it would be released later this year, and that material from it would be premiered at the band's set at the Fuji Rock Festival on 26 Jun.

Says Reznor: "I've been less than honest about what I've really been up to lately. For the last year I've been secretly working non-stop with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record, which I am happy to say is finished and frankly fucking great. This is the real impetus and motivation behind the decision to assemble a new band and tour again. My forays into film, HTDA and other projects really stimulated me creatively and I decided to focus that energy on taking Nine Inch Nails to a new place. Here we go!"

When it is unleashed later this year, the new NIN album will come out via Reznor's new major label buddy Sony Music, which signed up his other band How To Destroy Angels last year. Confirming that, Rob Stringer, head of Sony's Columbia division in the US, told reporters: "We are thrilled at Columbia to work with a true renaissance artist like Trent Reznor on the return of Nine Inch Nails and an exciting new chapter of innovative music from them".

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Having released their brassy album 'Love This Giant' last year, David Byrne and St Vincent have just given away a new EP, entitled 'Brass Tactics', as a free download. As well as remixes and live tracks, it features a previously unreleased studio track, 'Cissus'.

The giveaway comes just as the duo prepare to head out on tour in the US. If you want to catch them in the UK, you'll have to wait until August, when they play London, Birmingham and Glasgow, before heading to the End Of The Road festival.

Download Brass Tactics here or if you want to glance through the tracklist first, you can do that here:

I Should Watch TV (M Stine Remix)
Lightning (Kent Rockafeller Remix)
Marrow (live)
Road To Nowhere (live)

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Hyperactive Japanese trio Polysics have announced that their latest album, 'Weeeeeeeeee!!!', will be available for sale in the UK on 10 Jun, via JPU Records.

And if fourteen super fast new wave tracks aren't enough for any of you, the CD release will come with three bonus songs.

Now, why not say "yes" and watch the video for one of the tracks from the new album, 'Everybody Say No', here.

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The Japanese Popstars have signed a new deal with John Digweed's Bedrock label, through which they will release their third album, 'Disconnect/Reconnect', on 15 Jul. The band's last album, 'Controlling Your Allegiance', was released by EMI in 2011.

The group's Gary Curran told CMU: "We knew towards the end of last year that we had gotten slightly lost between the music that we loved writing and performing and the music that our label at the time wanted or needed us to write. The last album was an amazing experience for us all, the team we worked with were incredible and we played some amazing shows throughout the world".

However, he continued: "We ended up playing lots of festival main stage day time shows, amongst these amazing talented and successful artists but we knew that something wasn't right, we knew that we wanted to move back onto the dance stages, and back into the night. I guess this album is the expression of that feeling".

The tracklist for the new album is as follows:

Matter Of Time feat Green Velvet
No Music
Pump Power
Out Of No Where
Night Shift
The Dealer
Heavy Hitter

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Having headlined Field Day at the weekend, Bat For Lashes has announced a show at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on 13 Aug, amidst a string of European festival performances. She will also support Blur at their show in Dublin on 1 Aug, and tour the US with Depeche Mode later this year.

Tickets for the London show go on sale at 9am on 31 May.

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One of the most talked about acts at The Great Escape earlier this month, London Grammar, have announced that they will head out on a UK tour in October, tickets for which go on sale this Friday. The band will also release a new single, 'Wasted My Young Years', on 16 Jun. Watch the video for that after you have a look through those tour dates.

15 Oct: Norwich, Open
16 Oct: Brighton, The Haunt
18 Oct: Brixton, Electric
19 Oct: Oxford, Gathering
20 Oct: Bristol, The Fleece
22 Oct: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
23 Oct: Birmingham, Academy 3
24 Oct: Leeds, The Cockpit
26 Oct: Manchester, Sound Control
27 Oct: Glasgow, Broadcast
28 Oct: Newcastle, The Cluny

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Ellie Goulding will be touring around the UK this October, as will all the other acts in the world most likely. October's always a busy touring time. Should you choose to, you can see her at one of these dates:

3 Oct: Sheffield, Academy
4 Oct: York, Barbican
6 Oct: Wolverhampton, Civic hall
7 Oct: Newcastle, Academy
10 Oct: Cardiff, University
11 Oct: Manchester, Apollo
16 Oct: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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Newish HMV owner Hilco is expected to announce a new Head Of Marketing for the entertainment retail firm this Friday, ahead of a rebrand later this year. Much of the retailer's marketing team was axed (in a move live-tweeted on the official HMV Twitter feed) while it was still in administration in February.

Senior Marketing Manager Jill Thomas survived that cull and has been managing marketing operations since, but is expected to depart ahead of the announcement on Friday, along with long serving PR man Gennaro Castaldo, who has already announced his move to the BPI.

According to Marketing Week, Hilco is expected to halve HMV's marketing budget to around £4 million - though much of this saving may be made by streamlining the number of marketeers working at the company, with more cuts planned in addition to the HQ job losses prior to Hilco's purchase of the company.

It's also expected that later this year Hilco will relaunch the HMV website, and bring HMV Canada's new streaming service The Vault to the UK, in a bid to make the company's online operations more viable.

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More HMV, and the retail firm's long-time communications chief, Gennaro Castaldo, is moving to take the main comms role at record industry trade body the BPI, where he will replace incumbent Adam Liversage, who is departing the organisation on 14 Jun.

Castaldo has worked for HMV for 27 years, and enjoyed a higher profile than your average corporate PR as the go-to man for the newspapers for commentary on chart positions and record sales. Though in more recent years he was mainly responding to journalist emails along the lines of "so, when is your company going to hit the wall?" with the stock reply "Oh we're fine, we're selling iPads now, don't you know". Until HMV inevitably hit the wall in January, that is.

Though having tackled all those challenges of communicating for an HMV very much on the brink in recent years, while sitting on that vast knowledge of the charts, record sales and other such industry stats after nearly three decades with the big music retailer, Castaldo seems like just the main to take on the challenge of communicating for the record industry at large.

Confirming the appointment, BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU: "We are delighted that Gennaro is joining us at BPI. His long experience working with the music industry, his focus on consumers and his strong relationships with the press will be key assets as we represent our members' views across a range of media. Meanwhile, we are grateful to Adam for his commitment over the last four years and we wish him every success in his future endeavours".

Castaldo added: "I'm really looking forward to this exciting new challenge - working with Geoff and his team, [BPI Chair] Tony Wadsworth and, of course, the BPI members to communicate the exciting developments taking place in our industry during this dynamic time of change. I can't leave HMV without saying what a privilege it's been for me to have worked there and particularly with so many wonderful colleagues and associates past and present, who I will always think of with great affection. I will look to bring the same passion and commitment to my new role and build on the strong foundation of media engagement that is already in place".

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Booking agency powerhouse the Agency Group has a new CEO in the form of Gavin O'Reilly, who comes to the talent agency from the newspaper industry, which is an interesting career change.

O'Reilly will take over in the CEO job from the firm's founder Neil Warnock, who will relinquish operational control of his company taking on a more business development role as Worldwide President of the agency.

Announcing the arrangement, Warnock told reporters: "With the enormous development of The Agency Group over the last few years, and with a vision solidly focused on the additional development of TAG, it was essential to find somebody of the calibre of Gavin, to realise this vision".

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Ninja Tune has opened a new North America office in Echo Park, LA, sharing space with affiliated label Brainfeeder, the US publishing company it co-owns Third Side, and artist management agency Really Happening, which looks after Flying Lotus and Cinematic Orchestra, amongst others.

The UK label's expansion of its US operations will also see Ninja Tune hiring new staff for sync, live events and marketing, managed by Jamie Collinson, who formerly led Ninja Tune imprint Big Dada, and who has now been promoted to the role of Head Artist Campaign Director for the wider label, with the LA team also reporting into him.

Collinson told CMU: "With LA's proximity to the tech and sync worlds that are becoming so important to record labels, this felt like very much the place for us. As artists such as Bonobo, Amon Tobin, Cinematic Orchestra and Machinedrum grow, they're making serious headway in the huge, challenging territory that is North America, and the label is putting together ambitious, large scale creative record campaigns to help enable that. Several new Ninja Tune staff have been employed to work on the ground in the Los Angeles office, working closely with and under the guidance of myself in London".

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Ninja Tune isn't the only European music company opening a new office in LA this week. Lateral MGMT, home to artists including Taio Cruz, Paloma Faith and Josh Weller, is setting up shop in the US city, in addition to its existing offices in London and Stockholm.

Christian Wåhlberg, who co-founded the company with Jamie Binns and Jan Carl Adelswård, told Billboard: "With myself, Jamie and Jan Carl travelling to LA a week every month, it seems logical to set up an office there. We're going to hire an A&R assistant, who's going to be our eyes and ears on the ground. We're also employing our own licensing person over there, which is a big business for us, and we're putting together a small marketing team, to be a good support to the artists and writers we look after, with the labels we work with".

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Irish internet service provider Eircom last week quietly revealed that it will shut its streaming and download service MusicHub at the end of June.

No reason was given for shutting the service, which was created as part of an alliance with the Irish record industry that also resulted in the net firm agreeing to operate a three-strikes system, sending our warning letters to suspected file-sharers amongst its customer base with the threat of restricting their net access if they continued to access unlicensed content.

Of course since MusicHub launched in late 2010 the streaming music market in particular has become very competitive, and it's highly possible Eircom's own service has struggled to compete with other new entrants into that domain.

Whether the closure of the MusicHub - initially seen as the carrot in the ISP's label-endorsed crack down on piracy - will also impact on the stick, ie the three-strikes initiative, remains to be seen, though that programme did originate in a legal settlement between the record companies and the net firm.

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The BBC's 'X-Factor' rival 'The Voice' will return for a third series next year, the broadcaster has announced. The second series is currently airing on BBC One on Saturday nights, and is apparently pulling in around 8.5 million viewers for each episode. So that's nice.

Controller of Entertainment Commissioning Mark Linsey said: "'The Voice' has been a huge success for BBC One. Finding a Saturday night break-out hit is incredibly difficult, but this show hit the ground running and it's fantastic to ensure its future on the channel".

Meanwhile Moira Ross, Head Of Entertainment at Wall To Wall, the company which produces the show for the Beeb, and the show's executive producer, added: "'The Voice' is a global format phenomenon and it's been an extraordinary ride crafting it into a much watched and loved show for BBC One audiences. I'm thrilled to be continuing that journey".

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Olly Murs had to do some acting in the video for his new single 'Dear Darlin', and now he's caught the bug, he has told Daybreak. That's the acting bug, not some horrible disease.

He explains: "In this video I'm actually acting! I've been doing some angry shots ... It's nice to show a different side of my character. I think that's what it is [to be] an artist, to show different sides of your personality, and I think my fans have been wanting to see that for a while".

Though he added: "If I was going to do acting [more seriously], I wouldn't want ... who I am and what I'm doing [to mean I just] I get a job straight away. I'd want to really go to stage school and learn more about it. I think it's important to walk into a casting or walk into a room with other actors and be able to say that I've learnt to do this job, I haven't just walked into it. I think that's important because it's not as easy as people make out, it's tough".

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